Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm Not OK, You're Not OK. OK?

The whole notion of “making amends” and “forgiveness” when it comes to the pedophile in “recovery” makes me want to vomit.

There. I said it. Does this make me a bad person? Does this make me the brick wall blocking the perpetrator’s healing?

I had a chance to talk to a friend today, a very wise friend in the field of victim advocacy. I had to know, from a clinical perspective, does my brick wall stance with my arms across my chest and my frowny face on fire, does that mean that I am doing myself and my children a disservice?

Yes, you will note that I said “myself” and “my children”. Let’s be honest, I don’t give a rat’s ass about “his journey of healing”. He’s busy bonding with all his pedo friends and I’m sure they’re getting nice and healthy. His journey is not my business. I have no control over his journey. Never have, never will.

I have control over my journey. I have the ability to influence my children’s journey.

I don’t ever want to see this man again, that much I can be assured will not change.

The notion that someday, far down the road, he might try to look up his children and “make amends” makes me nauseated. It actually keeps me awake at night.

I will always be their mother. I will always want to protect them from pain.

I have no control over this.

Why can’t I let that go?

Even when you visualize your children as adults, you still want to protect them. You don’t want them to get that phone call when they are 31 years old and starting their own family and trying to recover from their childhood by doing things “right” this time.

The problem with the “making amends” schtick is that there always has been and always will be an imbalance of power between a pedophile/perpetrator and their victim. I can’t imagine any person of any age who could look their perp in the face and not instantly be that child in that bedroom on that night when the entire universe changed.

A pedo/perp will never get this concept. They will always feel that the world and its inhabitants should exist for their own pleasure. Even when they can parrot the self help books. Even when they have went through their twelve steps. Even when they have picked up their own shattered lives and walked on.

They feel powerless and so they take the ultimate power. The power of a child’s mind, body, heart, trust, imagination, and love.

And they crush it in their filthy hands.

Then, someday, they just might ask for forgiveness.

The power that I have is over my own life. My own belief that I do not have to join hands with this person and say “I forgive you.”

My power is that I continue to exist. I continue to nurture my children. I see a way forward that does not involve his power. I see that I can learn and grow and love and laugh and feel sunlight on my skin for the first time in years.

My power lies in the fact that someday, we will all be in the sunlight. We will no longer dwell in the shadow that he has cast over our lives.

My power is telling my children that in 15 or 20 or 25 years, that power will be theirs.

The power to say “no”.


Anonymous said...


Pam M.

Anonymous said...

As a victim, I know exactly what you're talking about. In fact, reading this was pretty identical to the same thoughts that have been running through my head.

Why should I forgive him?
What the fuck did he do to deserve a warm fuzzy feeling of forgiveness?

So then will he just think he's off the hook? "Phew! You forgave me! Now I can stop feeling guilty and we can pretend it never happened. Like old times!"


I hate those brief moments when I doubt my convictions. Like you said, is it wrong to feel that way? Are we supposed to forgive and forget? The poor bastard is gonna spend years crying his worthless tears moreso from being sad he got caught rather than giving a damn about what he did.


As far as I'm concerned, I'm not a damn bit concerned. He never was til it finally came back to bite him in the ass. Although in your STBX's case, hopefully he'll be getting more than just bites... Just sayin'.

Thanks for the blog. You have no idea!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I'm late to the party here.

One of the key ideas of AA and similar recovery programs is that amends and "delivered" apologies should only be made if it is possible to do so without causing additional harm. If your ex wants to apologize to "all victims" and you never hear about it, that's his issue, and as you said, not your problem.

In some states, you would have the option of seeking a no-contact order for yourself and your minor children, and once 18, your children should have the option of continuing that for as long as they wanted.

Best of luck to you and your children on your respective journeys to healing.